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“JOSSIE” traces the unpredictable destiny of Talent.
It is a story set in small-town Mangalore, India of the 20s and 30s and subsequently in Mumbai.
The story’s protagonist, Jossie, a bohemian character of immense talent splices together opposing cultures in both cities, causing ripples among the groups and individuals with whom he interacted; these included well-known personalities, such as Harindranath Chattophadhyay (poet and Bollywood actor) Ebrahim Alkazi, (theatre personality) Janaki Nath Gunju (diplomat and official PRO for India) and others on the one hand and on the other, bootleggers, tramps and roadside thieves who, with his help were able to reform and achieve amazing success in different fields. The path of his own strange destiny becomes the subject of this true-life story.
For a decade or two, he can be said to have revolutionised the musical taste and culture of Mangalore of the 20s and 30s, his string trio melding the serious and traditional with the light and playful to become a rage of his time.
With his iconoclasm and his magnetic personality he strove to smash some of the narrow walls that divided the religious communities of that time, particularly among the Protestants and the Catholics, two groups with diametrically opposing cultures.
The narrative steps back to view the fascinating origins, historical background and legends of some of these communities – the Goud Saraswat Brahmins among the Mangalorean Catholics and the Konkanas; the Bunts and the Protestants as also the East Indians of Mumbai – recording some of the strange customs, biases and characteristics and often droll mannerisms of villages on their way to urbanization.